SEATTLE -- Nick Swisher quieted the fans at Safeco Field on Thursday night. Twice.
Swisher hit two home runs - the second a screamer that nearly dented the foul pole -- to back Dan Haren, and the Oakland Athletics beat Seattle 6-2 on Thursday night to extend the Mariners' losing streak to a season-high seven games.
"It was hooking. I felt like doing a Carlton Fisk," Swisher said after his eighth multiple-homer game, and fourth time he'd homered from each side of the plate in the same game.
So much for that 4-for-30 slump Swisher brought into Thursday.
"Yeah, thank you for bringing that up," he said, smiling.
Seattle hasn't won since closing to within one game of the Los Angeles Angels for the AL West lead on July 20. The Mariners are on their longest losing streak since an 11-game skid effectively ended their season last August.
But they are only four games out now, with three more against Oakland preceding three with the Angels at home next week.
When asked if his team was fortunate to still be in the race, Seattle manager John McLaren said, "I guess we are. But it's all about us. We've got to get us going."
Afterward, the only sound inside Seattle's nearly empty and lifeless clubhouse was a rumbling air conditioner.
A frustrated Jose Guillen, volatile with other teams in past years, sat at his locker and barked obscenities barely under his breath to coach Mike Goff, who appeared to be consoling his slugger after his 1-for-4 night. When approached minutes later, Guillen shook his head, whispered, "Not today," and then walked off to read his mail.
Across the room, Raul Ibanez tried perspective.
"It's all cyclical. At the end of the season -- as long as we're winning again -- this will all be forgotten," the struggling left fielder said after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He knows his team had already endured two losing streaks of six games each before surging to 15 games above .500.
Then came this pratfall.
"This is a good club. We are going to win," Ibanez said. "You don't win the division in July."
Haren, the American League's ERA leader, allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings to actually raise his ERA from 2.41 to 2.42. He struck out seven and walked two in his longest outing since June 20.
Oakland, four games under .500, won for the third time in four games -- all against the top two teams in its division.
"These games are like the playoffs for us," Haren said.
Haren (12-3) allowed a home run by Richie Sexson in the fifth, then stranded the tying run at third base in the sixth by striking out Jose Vidro.
Huston Street, who returned Monday from two months on the disabled list, pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation. It was his second appearance as he continued to work up to regaining his closer duties.
Ellis sent Weaver's fourth pitch of the second inning deep into Oakland's bullpen beyond left field to make it 2-0, prompting boos that were reminiscent of when Weaver began the season 0-6 with an ERA over 14.00.
Sexson made it 2-1 in the bottom of the second by hitting a thigh-high, 3-1 pitch just over the wall in right-center field. It was Sexson's third hit in 20 at-bats against Haren.
But Swisher answered that in the fifth by homering off Weaver on a full-count, 80 mph floater that drifted high across the middle of the plate. Weaver just grimaced and shook his head at that huge mistake.
Seattle closed back to within 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, but blew a chance to tie. Yuniesky Betancourt led off with a single, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Adrian Beltre's RBI single. Guillen singled to set up a first-and-third chance for Vidro. But Vidro swung over consecutive pitches to end the inning
Weaver has won just twice in nine starts since returning from a month on the DL, despite having allowed three runs or less in eight of those games. He allowed seven hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.
Upon hearing he pitched well but lost again, one of the heroes of St. Louis' win in last October's World Series scoffed a laugh.
"Ha! I'm just looking for a win - period," Weaver said. "This is a tough stretch for us all."
- Before the game, manager Bob Geren said Street would need perhaps two or three games before getting the closer job back from Alan Embree, who has 11 saves in 13 chances.
- Beltre doubled and singled off Haren and is 15-for-31 (.484) against him. "He has been my kryptonite," Haren said.